Nur Izwani, 30, National Athlete
Panelled dress and checkered trousers, Cassey Gan.
She may not look it, but Nur Izwani can really bend it! While she could probably run circles around anyone, our national futsal player is proof that hard work and passion go hand-in-hand when it comes to your achieving dreams. She lives for sports — and believes anyone can make it their way of life. She also feels super-rewarded when the public appreciates women players and women teams. #GirlPower!
Tell us a little bit about what you do.
I’m a female futsal player and I represented Malaysia in the 2017 SEA Games. I’m also coaching several women and children futsal teams and the Penang team for SUKMA. My passion and interest in futsal drives me to introduce more young players to this sport and to push them to be professionals.
What is the most rewarding thing about your work?
When people genuinely want to see women play football or futsal and be a success in the game as well as when they appreciate women players and support women teams. As a coach, it gives me great pride when my players master the basics or when I see more young girls keen to join the sport.
How do you push through your bad times?
When I have a bad time, I like to clear my head by going for a run, or a quick walk, to get some time to myself. Not only does it help with my discipline, it helps me think healthily. I always end up feeling more positive and optimistic after.
In this New Malaysia, what can we do to encourage more young women to be involved in sports?
I use my personal journey to show them how a healthy lifestyle can positively influence their entire lives, but to make a bigger impact, more support from women and other parties need to get involve in football. Women can be professional footballers, and sports can be a way of life.
I’ve taken criticisms and turn them into challenges. Now when I get criticised, I take it as a challenge to prove them wrong. I want to show that women can play football and it is a viable career.
— Izwani on criticism